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BC-GA--Georgia News Advisory, GA

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News,Science and Technology

GEORGIA EDITORS, PHOTO EDITORS:

The Associated Press is pursuing the following stories today:

ATLANTA — As President Barack Obama urges tighter federal gun laws, state legislators around the country have responded to the Connecticut school shooting with a flurry of their own ideas that are likely to produce fights over gun control in their upcoming sessions. There is momentum in two strongly Democratic states to tighten already-strict gun laws, while some Republicans in four other states want to make it easier for teachers to have weapons in schools. One Republican governor, however, used his power this week to block the loosening of restrictions. AP Photos.

ATLANTA — Glynn County is doubling the reward money being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the death of one of its commissioners. Tom Sublett's body was found last week in the Frederica River near St. Simons Island after he failed to return home from an evening poker game with friends. An autopsy determined that Sublett was shot in his head before drowning, but the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has not determined whether his death is a homicide.

MARIETTA, Ga. — Police officers from around the state are expected to attend a funeral on Friday for 24-year-old Clayton County police Officer Sean Callahan, who died after being shot during a gunfight south of Atlanta. Cobb County police say a motorcade of police vehicles from across the state will travel to a suburban Atlanta church for an 11 a.m. funeral.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — To help boost literacy and confidence, Wheeless Road Elementary School has launched a program in which pupils read aloud to therapy dogs, taking the pressure and judgment of classmates out of the process. Twice a month, four volunteers from Therapy Dogs Inc. take their dogs to a classroom for one-hour reading sessions. Though research into the benefits of reading-assisted dogs is limited and mostly anecdotal, some recent scientific studies have shown that the animals can affect literacy. An AP Member Exchange.

ATHENS, Ga. — A University of Georgia horticulturist is hoping to change that by popularizing a hybrid that combines Fraser firs with their Japanese cousins, the Momi firs. Mark Czarnota, a horticulturist and associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, hopes to combine the hardy Momi fir rootstock and Fraser scion, or shoot, into a tree that will grow throughout much of Georgia and the Southeast. An AP Member Exchange.

The AP

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